Old Boats Buffalo

Niagara Frontier Antique & Classic Boats Inc.

News and Updates

Boat Show Schedule - 37th Annual Niagara Frontier Antique and Classic Boat Show

Posted on August 1, 2014 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (3)

Boat Show Schedule

Friday September 5th


11:30am - 12:45pm Lunch available at the Buffalo Launch Club


Opportunity to use your Boat:


1:00pm - 4:00pm Cruising Black Rock Canal to Buffalo Harbor


5:30pm - 8:30pm Welcome Party buffet at BLC


Saturday September 6th



9:00 a.m. Drivers meeting for anyone running fly-bys on the course at the base of the announcers stand



9:15 Patrol Boat meeting at flagpole



9:30 course closed to traffic, patrol boats in place



9:30 a.m. Judging Begins – Owners should be present at their boats while the judging team reviews your boat



10:00 a.m. Opening Ceremonies


Raising of the US and Canadian flags by Buffalo Launch Club Color Guard


Singing of US And Canadian National Anthems



10:15 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Vintage race boat fly-bys



2:00 p.m. Announcement of Car Show Awards – Announcers podium



3:00pm – Ride Auction Winners – Take a ride in one if these magnificent mahogany boats– Place bids in front of announcer’s platform (Credit cards accepted)


Auction bids close at 2:30



3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. take a friend for a ride



4:30 p.m. 37th Annual Boat Show Concludes



6:00 p.m. Steak and corn roast dinner and Awards Presentation – admission by prepaid ticket only



Sunday September 7th


Opportunity to use your Boat:


9:00am Departure for around "Grand Island Fun Run" from BLC

Boat Show Update - What's New This Year

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (4)

Saturday September 6, 2014 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Buffalo Launch Club, Grand Island, NY (map)

posted by oldboatsbuffalo

37th Annual Show


Antique Boat Show and Raceboat Reunion Buffalo Launch Club • September 6, 2014 Hosted by the Niagara Frontier Chapter ACBS


Boat Show 2014


The theme for this years show is “Glory Days” as we look back in time to the days when the Buffalo Launch Club hosted unlimited hydroplane races in the 50’s and early 60’s! Our plan is to have 3 vintage unlimited hydroplanes churning up the waters on the historic BLC course. Jay Armstrong with the Miss US IV, Dick Higgons with the Miss Budweiser have committed to attend. Bill Black is waiting to see how his newly built Gale IV responds in her two early season outings at Madison and Detroit. If all goes well he is interested in bringing her to Buffalo.


We also are featuring Chris Craft Racing Runabouts and Garwood Speedsters that were prominent in the E and F Service Runabout Class that ran at the BLC.


As you know Buffalo is an action oriented show. In keeping with that theme were are going to have a minimum of 6 large and fast vintage hydroplanes from the Grand Prix and 5 liter classes.


Action on land as well – youth at work – The Buffalo Maritime Center will have their “hand to hand” program in action. This program pairs an adult with a youth, who work together to build a boat. The plan is to have some program participants on site to build a boat that will be completed and launched in the basin by shows end! We are going to be accepting donations as well as making a donation ourselves so the program can continue and be expanded.


So what else is new?


• “Glassics” – featuring boats with the big fins!


• Off Shore boats that will be on display in the basin and then under power on the course!


• Antique outboard motor expanded display with a tank for those that wish to run their motors.


• A gathering of neighbors…..Boats from surrounding clubs east of Buffalo. Youngstown, Wilson, Oak Orchard, and Rochester. Featuring the newly restored VanTine family boat, which was the bumboat at Youngstown harbor!


• A Coast Guard helicopter rescue demonstration during the river break of the race boat portion.


• A special boutique section for the ladies!


• A display by the Grand Island Historical Society on the Ferry boats and landings that supported Grand Island before bridges.


• A return of live music at the Friday evening “Welcome Party”


• New food offerings on show day for spectators, with additional seating areas to enjoy your food!


This is an action show- You will see the boats run!


Register Now!

2013 Buffalo Classic Boat Show Update

Posted on June 7, 2013 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Schedule of Events for Participants:


The public is welcome to view the boats on Saturday, September 7th

     -Think Big

                  -Think Small

                             -Think Fast

                                        - Have a Number in Mind?

                                                   - Smile

                                                             - Think Buffalo!


Want to know what all this means? Then make plans to come to Buffalo on the weekend of September 6,7,& 8 2013.


For those of you who would like a little more detail before hand: We have made a number of changes to the event for this year.


 1. We want participants to have a greater opportunity to use their boats, therefore on Friday afternoon we have a picnic style lunch at the Buffalo Launch Club from 11:30 -12:30 followed by 2 guided cruise options.


 a. A longer cruise departing from the Launch Club heading up river through the Black Rock lock, passing the Frank Lloyd Wright boathouse, with a final destination of Canal Side in the inner harbor.


 b. The second is a shorter cruise headed downstream to the mouth of the Erie Canal and Gateway Harbor, North Tonawanda.


 2. This does not mean that we have eliminated a second opportunity to use your boat on the Sunday morning “Fun Run” around Grand Island. This 22mile run will take place at its usual time of 9:00am. However this leads us to the next change: Awards Presentations.


 3. Awards will be presented this year as a part of the steak and corn roast on Saturday evening following the show, so make sure you register for this dinner if you have your boat judged! We will not have a Sunday morning awards brunch.


 4. The final major format change is the seminars. These will be held on show day around the noon hour, which is also the lunch break for the race patrol boats.


Think Big - One of the feature category of boats are Chris Craft Commanders. These larger cruises will make their way Buffalo from various water destinations and should make for an interesting display. This will also be the theme for our seminars on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. Paul Pletcher, Chris Smith, and Herb Pocklington will head up our gala group of speakers that will be on hand for the weekend. A must see event!


Going along with the think big theme we have two classic yachts making the trip from the Thousand Islands. They are the 56’ 1930 Cyngus (a Peterson hull built in NJ) and a 19-- 40’ Elco. Attendees are welcome aboard to tour these boats, which will also stay in the Buffalo area and are available for charters. Please contact Rich DeGlopper or Tom Frauenheim if you are interested.


Think Small - Going from one extreme to the other. We are very pleased to host the “Dippy Club” from north of the border. Back in 1922 a Disappearing Propeller boat race was held at the club. So on Friday evening as a part of the welcome party festivities and again on Saturday afternoon we will let these one cylinder speed demons run the historic course at the BLC for the “Phillips Cup”! This should be a great deal of fun for spectators and participants.


Think Fast - Jay Armstrong is returning to Buffalo again with his Miss US unlimited hydroplane after having another season to tweak the boats performance. Along with Jay we are putting together heats of large fast limited hydroplanes. These boats will make some noise and generate roostertails. A new attraction will be a test session for local current APBA sanctioned boats to demonstrate their boats on the BLC course. It will offer an interesting contrast to the boats on the vintage circuit. We are also paying tribute to Burnett Bartley Jr. who passed away this spring. We have made arrangements to his boat the “Wildcatter” on hand at the show. Burnett raced many years at the BLC and was a lifetime honorary member. We also will have those wild and bouncing Jersey Speed Skiffs as well as other vintage classes.


Numbers Boats - We will have at least two numbers boats at the show. One has just finished complete restoration and will be christened at the show. The other will be an electric power replica built by Morin Boats of Michigan. Every year Doug has brought beautiful and unique boats to the show. This will be another in his series.


Smile and have your boats looking pretty - Classic Boating Magazine will once again attend our show and will write feature articles for an upcoming issue.


Think Buffalo - Above I have listed some of the changes and feature attractions for this years show. What I did not list was a wide variety of land displays, nautical vendors, kids camp, classic car show, food and beverage, and most of all great hospitality in a historical setting.


Note: We have made arrangements for special boat show rates ($107) at the newly renovated Holiday Inn on the Niagara River, Grand Island NY. Don’t get fooled, as of July 2nd it will go under its new name – Byblos Niagara Resort and Spa.


Call 716-773-1111 and ask for the “boat show 2013” rates (if the person at the desk can’t find the special rate tell them to look for booking ID# 1422829



Room Block Cut off date is August 16………after that we cannot guarantee room openings.


So don't’ wait, go on line and register your boat now and don’t forget to make those room reservations as well! PS. Send us a picture of your boat so we can post it on our website.


Oh yes, if you make it into town early there will be an opportunity to get over to our new workshop location in conjunction with the Buffalo Maritime Center!


Remember - Think Buffalo and join in on the fun and hospitality our show has been known for!



Posted on September 28, 2012 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (1)



Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=51HLF98dRHY




To all,


A video of the last session at Buffalo on Sept 8th. A little cantankerous on the start, a little too much air and not enough fuel. Thankfully we have a pop off installed on the intake manifold. Once started she ran quite well considering the short course and too high pitch prop. Jack did a marvelous job of driving. He too said she was a truck in the turns. We will be making several changes in the off season to make her better not the least of which is the seat. He does not like the beautiful Kirkey we have installed because it apparently tries to spit him out in the turns. Picky picky.



Boats Coming to the Show

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (2)

A new feature on the website this year is the photo album "Boats Registered for the Show".


Miss-Led  HEATWAVE  Way Back When


We have been updating this album as we have received pictures from boat owners registered for the show. If you are registered for the show and you would like us to include a picture of your boat, please send us a picture at webmaster@oldboatsbuffalo.org .


One of the newest boats registered is the Switzer Wing "Thunderball". This historic Switzer Wing has been brought back to life by Ted Boyd, and will be featured doing fly bys (like the one below) at the show.





U 36 New Video - Update

Posted on July 17, 2012 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (1)

To my friends, supporters and those who would have an interest in the U 36 project;


I have forwarded the u tube video below which was produced by my friend and professional videographer, Rich Robbins. This segment was shot prior to the first launching on June 16th, 2012 that morning at the APBA race at Chamberlain, South Dakota. You will see a very conservative run with speed probably not ever exceeding 60 or 70 mph on the back straight away. Due to the short course, wind and the whitecap conditions and first time 68 year old unlimited driver in a 55 year old boat that had not seen water since 1958, she was held down to an easily manageable rate. Both turns were with cross winds and were interesting even at the reduced speeds. The boat handled well at these speeds and would virtually track hands off in the brief time of higher speed on the straightaway. She’s a real horse in the turns at least at these speeds she was. Perhaps not unlike an 18 wheeler with no power steering, while trying to park. Perhaps she will loosen up some with better water and with some air under her. There were no oil or fuel leaks in the bilge and the engine compartment remained clean after the two sessions. The first run saw a maximum of 40 inches of manifold for a few seconds. The second session she was pushed to 50 inches and she started to move out but due to the short straights (one mile course)and very rough turns, had to back off early.


All in all a very successful outing. My crew comprised of George Czarnecki, JJ Armstrong, John Freeman and Jeff Riddle made the whole experience a true joy. These guys did what needed to be done without being asked because they knew what was what with this vessel before and after the sessions. I want to thank the race director Dutch Squires and his team for having us at this event and wish to thank the American Power Boat Association for allowing the boat to run.


Personally, I don’t think I have had a more satisfying or more enjoyable time at anything I’ve done for a long time that would top the Chamberlain event. Finally, none of this would have happened had it not been for George Czarnecki and all of the effort he has gone to in making this boat what it is. Most of you do not know him, but I hope you meet him someday soon and get to visit with him. I am more pleased than you can imagine to call George my friend and to have his support and skills over the years.


I hope you all enjoy the video.


Jay Armstrong



You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

U -36 ready for the water test

Posted on June 16, 2012 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

To all who have an interest in the U 36 project;


She’s ready to go to Chamberlain. We leave tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon. We plan on the first water run on Friday afternoon. If all goes well, will do an exhibition run or two on Saturday but in either event will remain at the race as a display thru Saturday.



I hope some of you can make it to South Dakota this weekend.





U -36 ready for the water test‏  U -36 ready for the water test‏  U -36 ready for the water test‏

Miss U.S. U 36 Progress

Posted on June 6, 2012 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (0)

To those having an interest in U 36;


We are in the final steps of the paint work with the final wet sanding using 3000 grit paper today to be followed by the buff of the entire topsides tomorrow. Rub rails are going on this evening and will begin final assembly of the cockpit and tail. Both have already been trial fit and should go on rather quickly. Thanks to Peggy and Fred Alter we now have a nice cleaver prop and will give it the go to see what we have. The plan is to apply the graphics to the decks and sponsons a week from today (Tuesday), lift her back onto the trailer on Wednesday and leave for Chamberlain, South Dakota Thursday evening for the race event there on the 16th and 17th. We now have a Dodge one ton dually with the Cummins engine which I believe will pull the rig very nicely.


After some earlier concern about APBA insurance covering an unlimited at Chamberlain we have been cleared to run event as an insured boat. Dutch Squires is the representative for this event and has been very helpful in making sure all bases are covered to allow this boat to run. The plan one day prior to the race program beginning on Saturday is to crane launch her on Friday morning one day prior to the race program, to check for water leaks. If all good, the first test hop will be on Friday afternoon. It is a one mile course which is rather short for an unlimited but we will be running at reduced speeds so the mile course should be no problem. We mainly want to see how she gets on plane, how she corners at lower speeds, how the rings seat in the Allison and in general, how all the systems function. Hopefully we have done our jobs well and she will perform as expected.


We are very much looking forward to this event. John Freemen out of Alex Bay, New York tells me he will be there to help crew the boat. It is a great honor to have such an experienced, know legible person with an extensive background with piston unlimiteds willing to help us less than experts. For those of you who may not know, John was Bob Schroeder’s close friend who worked with Bob during his years behind the wheel of various unlimiteds. John is a highly technical person who told me he never got in an unlimited and never will. I guess it’s a good thing there are those of us dumb enough to want to or there would be no unlimiteds to see run. The only thing that worries me is something John said when he was here in Omaha looking at the boat: “The bilge sure looks clean—“. I suspect that is not the norm and that U 36 may well become the norm in Chamberlain. I so look forward to cleaning up that mess. If you've ever tried to even see under an installed Allison, you know of what I speak.




Boats Registered for the Show

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

“HEATWAVE” by Vance Whiteman, N.A.


Heatwave pdf file


The “HEATWAVE” is a 280cubic inch, 164HP Ford SB powered, “E” class cab over hydroplane designed and hand-crafted using Sitka Spruce and marine plywood by Vance Whiteman of(North West Indiana Inboard Racing). It has an Overalllength of 17’8” with an 8’ beam.


We know that this hydroplane participated in a lot of races, in the Portsmouth & Hillsboro, Ohio area. Originally it raced as the “HEATWAVE” E-160 byLynn Weddel from Decatur, Illinois in the 80’s, and later by Steve Lancaster from Bur-lington, KY as “The River Rat” E-69, in the early 90’s. It was also owned by Doug Hale, Bill McTague of Batavia, OH, and Joe Marshall of Knoxville, TN. We purchased it in October of 2005 from Joe Marshall.


Hull restoration completed by the original designer and builder Vance Whiteman in-volved complete disassembly, inspection and replacement of all required structural components including bottom and top sheeting, salvaging an assortment of original wood, cowlings and hardware, rebuilding the boat back to its initial status as the



Vance Whiteman by Elizabeth Wolfe -


 “Vance has been around boat racing longer than most of us have been alive! Vance is located in Lafayette, IN and used to work for Rodi Yachts rebuilding wood boats (before fiberglass). He has worked on some Unlimited and countless inboard hulls. In fact, if you walk around the pits with him… he can point out every other boat and the work he has done on it. Vance is one of the special people that really make boat racing a wonderful sport to participate in.


Thank you Vance for all of your hard work for me and everyone else!”Vance worked for Rodi Boats in Chicago; they also had marinas in Florida. Rodi was a boat dealer for Chris Craft in the Chicago area, they would purchase bare/unfinished boats and complete them including installing various options. Even-tually Vance, a Naval Architect, went to work for Chris Craft in Pompano, Florida de-signing and building prototypes.Over the years Vance did several jobs repairing boats including for Jim McCormack, legendary driver of the MISS MADISON, featured in the Madison hydroplane movie. “Jim had torn up the starboard side of his boat, an ”E” class Farmer in a race at the Miami Stadium and asked me if I could fix it for a race being held in 3 months at Tampa”.Vance repaired many boats, all types and makes; he saw design flaws and weak char-acteristics. With all the knowledge and experience he obtained from repairing dam-aged boats he decided he could build a better boat of his own design.






U-36, Miss US IV

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (166)

The rebirth of George Simon’s U-36, Miss US IV

…..a Henry Lauterbach unlimited hydroplane from 1956

By Bill DeGlopper & Jay Armstrong


Organized boat racing on the Niagara River in Buffalo, New York became a full-fledged spectator event in 1903, when the Buffalo Launch Club was granted APBA’s first powerboat racing club certificate. In the decades that followed some of the most famous hydroplanes, boat owners, race teams and drivers made the annual treck to Grand Island to compete in numerous International Regattas. Legends like Gar Wood, Guy Lombardo, Edsel Ford, Horace Dodge, Bob Schroeder, Fred Alter, Bill Muncey, Mira Slovak, the DuPont’s, and all the contenders for unlimited titles and high points supremacy were regulars at Buffalo events.


With the creation of APBA’s Vintage & Historic division 20 years ago, race boat regattas once again made appearances at some of the famous racecourses of the past. However, these events featured restored race boats from by gone eras. Interest was renewed as more and more old boats found new owners that carefully restored these important boats back to their former greatness. Fans returned in great numbers to watch these boats perform on racecourses from coast to coast.


At the Buffalo Launch Club’s 33rd Antique Boat Show and Race Boat Reunion in 2010, Omaha’s Jay Armstrong visited with Fearless Fred Alter. Jay asked if Fred knew where he could buy a conventional, shovelnose unlimited. Fred directed Jay to Doug Morin who has a long time relationship with the Thomas Mittler family. Mittler was owner of the U-36, also known as Miss U.S. IV. A deal was struck and Jay purchased the boat in March of 2011.



The hull needed extensive work including removal of the aluminum bottom, replacement of some of the bottom wood structure and replacement of the aluminum bottom, transom and sponson skins. Doug Morin of Morin Boats in Bay City Michigan was commissioned for the hull rework at the time of purchase. (Doug also owns the Miss US V). Work was begun right away where in addition to the hull stripping, all system components and hoses were removed including fuel tanks, oil tank, oil cooler and surge tanks. All were cleaned, pressure leak checked and refinished, then reinstalled. The fuel tanks were a particularly challenging task as the boat is almost entirely built around the fuel tanks. After all other work was complete a completely new mahogany underlay deck was also fabricated and installed, then covered with fiberglass cloth and resin. All hull, deck, system refitting and structural work were accomplished at Morin Boats shop in Bay City Michigan.



The engine, a V 1710 -113 Allison and the gearbox, a Dan Arena 1 to 2:75 ratio, was transported to Omaha for tear down and overhaul. Central Cylinder Service accomplished all work, a certified FAA approved aircraft engine overhaul facility. Upon tear down it was discovered many valves were warped. CCS is not sure but it appears as though this engine had been installed in U-36. If so, it could not have been producing any where near rated power. If this engine had been installed and operated in U-36, the boat would have been very much down on power and speed. The engine overhaul and first test run was completed on January 12, 2012. The engine had no leaks and sounds very good with a nice crisp exhaust rapport.



Most plumbing is complete and we will be installing the engine for trial fit very soon. Testing is planned for the first week of May 2012, locally.



U-36 is the first of only three unlimited’s Henry Lauterbach built. It has been reported this boat is an upscale of a smaller successful Lauterbach but in visiting with Larry Lauterbach he indicates this is not altogether true. George Simon of US Equipment Co commissioned the boat in late 1956 or early 1957. It was a second boat to U-2 Miss US II that was also commissioned at the same time with Les Staudacher as the builder. So Mr. Simons team fielded two boats for part of the 1957 season. (U -36 didn’t hit the water till July of that year).



In Armstrong’s subsequent visit with Fred Alter last year, he said he only drove U- 36 one time for 15 minutes and didn’t care for it saying it was “squirrelly” at 120 mph. It is Jay’s understanding he never drove it again, opting for the US II boat instead. U-36 ran 6 or 7 events in 1957, and I believe only one or two events in 1958 with different drivers both years. It is reported Bob Rowland drove the boat at some of these events. Of distinction is the fact that while not the fastest boat on the circuit, U-36 never failed to finish a heat. She was at least reliable. She did attend the Elizabeth City event and won it by default since no other unlimited showed up due to a conflict with the Madison race the same weekend. After 1958 the boat was placed in storage in Detroit for about 40 years never to race again. History mentions that Jeff Magnuson bought the boat perhaps in the late 90’s and that it went to Maine for a while. Later it went to the Lauterbach shop around 2000 where it received new fiberglass cowling and cockpit shells. As far as is known, that was the only work that Henry did on the boat since building it. It is a 100% original hull. Evidence of the boats condition at time of purchase backs this speculation up.



Restoration plans include returning the boat to its original color scheme, which is red . All the original graphics will include Henry Lauterbach’s and Bob Rowland’s names. The boat rests on its original trailer which has a rear bumper with the H.L. initials boldly emblazoned in steel plate. The driver for vintage events Team Armstrong attends will be Jack Schafer Jr.


If plans continue on schedule, U-36 will hit the water in Buffalo and perform with 2 other fine unlimiteds on September 8, 2012 as featured racers.



Jay Armstrong


Peacock Racing Enterprises




Link to engine test run video: